A Pakistani soldier was killed and another injured in a fire exchange between Indian and Pakistani troops along the heavily militarised de facto border in Kashmir on Sunday.
Pakistan said Indian troops crossed the Line of Control (LoC) and stormed a military post. The Indian military, however, denied that its soldiers had attacked a Pakistani position.
A statement released by Pakistan’s military said the Indian troops came across the de factor border in the Haji Pir sector, 80 kilometres north of Islamabad, and “physically raided” a check post named Sawan Patra.
“Pakistan Army troops effectively responded to the attack. One Pakistani soldier embraced martyrdom while another was critically injured,” the statement said, adding that the Indian troops retreated, leaving behind a gun and a dagger.
An Indian army spokesman in Srinagar, the winter capital of Indian-administered Kashmir, denied its troops crossed the LoC.
Colonel Brijesh Pandey accused the Pakistani military of firing mortar shells into a village in the Uri district, which faces Haji Pir in Azad Kashmir.
“At 3:15 am today, Pakistani troops resorted to heavy mortar firing, targeting a village in Uri sector,” Pandey told AFP, adding that the homes of some villagers were damaged. “We retaliated with small arms and the exchange continued for over an hour,” the spokesman said.
He said no Indian troops were hurt but had no information about any Pakistani casualties.
Indian army spokesman Colonel Jagadish Dahiya said Indian troops had not crossed the LoC. “However, there was a ceasefire violation by Pakistan. Our troops retaliated by firing,” Dahiya said. “None of our troops crossed the Line of Control. We have no casualties or injuries.”
There were more than 75 ceasefire violations along the LoC in 2012, killing eight people. Most of the violations were exchanges of fire between the two sides.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 7th, 2013.